Friday, January 13, 2017


All right, already!

Last night I had an email from Baseball Steve.

He gently informed me that the sculpture in yesterday's post was NOT a Gila Monster.

Then this morning Steve in Germany emailed me the same correction.

So I stand corrected.

The sculpture is actually of another denizen of the desert:  a Phrynosoma, or a Horned Lizard.

In this part of the world, they are affectionately called Horny Toads.

So in honor of the double play by the two Steves and their perspicacity and the gentleness with which they corrected your Humble Scribe, I dedicate the first Friday Funny of this week to them.

Hey!  Was that another Horny Toad?

Oh, never mind.

Listen Gentle Readers, profit by your mistakes, have a scintillatingly superb weekend, and always, always, always, remember to keep laughing!

(And I never once mentioned what today's date is.)

Here, kitty-kitty . . .

Thursday, January 12, 2017


Once upon a time, many years ago, I was hiking in the Superstition Mountains just above Lost Dutchman Park.

I was high up in the mountains, at the base of a vertical crag, when I decided to scale it a bit.

I saw an opening above me, grasped the ledge and pulled myself up to find myself face to face with a Gila Monster.

Now for those of you who don't know, the Gila Monster is a venomous lizard native to the Southwest.

Wikipedia tells me it has a sluggish nature and thus presents little danger to humans.

But it is a fearsome creature in appearance and well to be avoided.

Believe me, I let go of that ledge immediately and dropped down the few feet to where I could rest and get my heart rate back down.

I was reminded of that experience today when we pulled up to a hamburger joint in my present town.

For what did I see, in sculptured metal, outside the front door?

Yes, my old nemesis, sitting just as still as he sat on that ledge in the Superstitions.

As I gazed at him, he seemed to have a look in his eye that said "This is MY territory.  Don't mess with me, boy!"

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
For those of you who responded to my post yesterday about Muggles, she seems to be doing much better today.

She is eating more, is acting much more animated and cuddles with Judy and asks for attention the minute she lies down.

Thanks for all your kind comments.

And avoid Gila Monsters, unless they are sculpted as art!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017


This is Muggles.

No, we were no big fans of the Harry Potter books.

I picked the name out of the thin air because of the M on her forehead (only partially visible here.)

It wasn't until later that I learned that all tabbies have this M.

But about six weeks ago our beloved Muggles stopped eating.

She also had developed a nasty cough.

And she began migrating to an apparently chosen spot, under the bed in SWMBO's room.

She grew smaller and smaller as she went day after day without consuming any food and very little water.

We assumed she was dying.

And as much as we hated that and grieved over it, we held back from taking her to a veterinarian to have her "put down".

I told a friend, Tom in France, about it one day in a comment on his blog.

He responded lovingly, having gone through the loss of his dog Molly, like Muggles a member of the family more than a pet.

And yet.

And yet.

Muggles has begun eating again.

And drinking.

She still has the cough.

And she has lost so much weight that she resembles a kitten.

And when touched, her body is like a fur coat stretched over a framework of wire coat hangers.

But she apparently is spending less time under the bed, favoring the top of the bed and it's fuzzy quilt.

She still comes to me for her "petting" when I sit down at the base of the bed.

She still purrs.

She has taken up, once again, her habit of coming into the kitchen and banging the door that she knows is to the cupboard holding the cat food, even though she eats very little of it.

We don't really know what to think.

We had pretty much prepared for her departure from our lives.

Yet she perseveres in living.

What a cat.

Great cat.


May she be, like the title character in the book I brought home today from the library for SWMBO (and I) to read, "The Cat Who'll Live Forever". 

Tuesday, January 10, 2017


The only travel I'll write about today is the venture out to my back yard yesterday.

The day began with a beautiful and colorful dawn and ended with a magnificent sunset.

I watched the dawn colors paint the sky but didn't photograph it.

But in the evening SWMBO called my attention to the sky and I did grab my camera.

The setting sun reflecting off the clouds in the sky from a rainy day made it appear as if there was a massive fire just beyond the line of houses.

The colors ranged from golden to red to purple as the sun sank below the horizon.

It was an amazing display of the artistry of Mother Nature's paintbrush.

Monday, January 9, 2017


I have tried, lord knows I've tried.

I have steadfastly tried not to discuss politics on this blog.

But today I am breaking my promise to myself.

Last night's Golden Globes telecast featured a special award to the actress Meryl Streep for lifetime achievement.

When she accepted the award, Ms. Streep took the occasion to criticize President-elect Donald Trump for his speech in which he mimicked a disabled New York Times reporter.

You knew that the incredibly thin-skinned Trump would respond to that, didn't you?

He first tweeted that Streep was one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood and then said she was a Hillary Clinton flunky who "lost big."

Trump went on to say that he never mocked the Times reporter but simply showed him groveling after changing a story he had written about the President-elect.

Okay, folks, them are the facts.

Now here comes my opinion.

First of all while I am no fan of Donald Trump, I get a little burned by the actors and actresses who take advantage of a public microphone at an event honoring excellence in movies and television to express their political opinions.

My view is that if they wish to express those opinions they should do it in a proper place.

Write an op-ed piece for a newspaper, do an interview with a political reporter, but leave what is supposed to be an entertainment vehicle as a place to graciously accept your award and thank the people who helped you win it.

As for Trump, how can he call the most honored actress of our generation "one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood"?

And Streep (Hillary Clinton) didn't lose big.

Let us remind the Tweetster in Chief that his opponent won nearly three million more votes than he did.

And I suspect no one who saw Trump's speech would doubt that he was mocking that reporter.

And what the hell is he doing carrying on one little spat after another on a Twitter account for anyway?

Doesn't he have matters of state to attend to, like forming a government?

How are we to respect a President who has such a tender ego and such silly priorities?

All right.

End of rant and though I know there will be comments I'm going to get back, after today, to my non-political stance on this blog.

Have a nice day, Gentle Readers.

Sunday, January 8, 2017


Gentle Readers, if you didn't believe yesterday's post about the Polar Bear Splash, there is absolute proof in today's edition of our local newspaper.

To see pictures of the madness, click here.

Saturday, January 7, 2017


There is a strange phenomenon in this world which involves people taking part in abnormal activities.

In Prescott Valley, Arizona, where I live, as in many other places, this takes place in early January, at the local swimming pool.

I should note that the swimming pool is only open for this one event, having been closed for months because of the colder weather.

Yet for some odd reasons, such as manliness and general lunacy, a small group of men come to the pool to take a plunge.

There is also an Ice Princess contest, men only, in which the winner is determined by the amount of hair on his chest!

Each of the Plungers has to sign in, presumably on a waiver of responsibility for the medical problems that may ensue.

A couple of the loonies brave souls were checking out the water.

So why, you might ask, would any individual leave his warm home on a day when the temperature is hovering in the 40's to jump (however briefly) into an icy cold swimming pool?

Maybe it's the free pancake breakfast with which they are tempted.

And it's not only the youngest citizens of the community who join in.

This fellow claimed to be "only" 58!

He asked me if I was going to join him?

I swiftly declined, thinking to myself . . . "my mama didn't raise any idiot children!"

As a matter of fact, the air temperature was cold enough to send me scampering for home over an hour before the scheduled plunge.

You and I can only assume that they actually did it.

Friday, January 6, 2017


Yeah, yeah, I know.

I mean I appreciate Fridays too but I really get tired of this gal running up and down the street yelling with her Valley Girl accent.

But it's not a day to be grouchy so let's move right along to the humor.

Oops, sorry 'bout that.

Gentle Readers, wherever on the globe this finds you, I sincerely hope you have an outlandishly fabulous weekend.

And remember, always keep laughing.

Here, kitty-kitty . . .

Oh don't be frightened.  

It's just that gal running around welcoming "Fraiyday" again.

Thursday, January 5, 2017


This is a picture of me as a diligent student in my college days.

Clean-shaven, bespectacled, with a crew cut hairdo.

But why, Gentle Readers might ask, is he wearing that silly grin, with a mischievous glint in his eyes.

Because he is participating in a campus stunt of the late 1950's which involved stuffing as many people as possible into a space built for many fewer.

I think it began with phone booths.

Those of you too young to remember phone booths, this is what they looked like.

Generally they were a compartment with a folding door containing a pay telephone.

If you're a fan of the Doctor Who television series, you may recognize them as looking like this.

But, before the advent of cell phones, they were used to make telephone calls.

Or for rowdy students to cram into en masse.

But by the time of the picture of the student that began this post the telephone booth had been replaced as a space to be stuffed by another small object.

The Volkswagen Beetle!

The tiny German car was designed as a rear-engine economy car for four people.

(I might add four SMALL people.)

The front compartment was the trunk, here housing your scribe, among others.

On this particular night, I believe the seats had been removed from the car in order to accomodate more passengers.

The owner of the automobile, Lew White, is seated on the floor behind the steering wheel with his glasses pushed up onto his forehead.

21 Jamestown College students were crammed into the car. 

It was driven slowly and carefully, with much noise from the occupants shouting directions to the driver who couldn't see where he was going, over to the girl's dormitory.

Proof can be shown by the lighted headlight.

You may note a miniature cowbell in my hand, used to further announce our arrival.

Ah, college days, when so many hours were spent at desks "hitting the books".

And then there were nights like this.

(Before I hear from the fashion mavens out there, I will call attention to my stylish argyle socks.)

Wednesday, January 4, 2017


Dawn over the savannah the other day.

Could this represent the light dawning in Washington yesterday.

I doubt it.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017


When I was a "young man" I used to hitchhike back and forth from my boyhood home to my college.

It was about 225 miles and I usually had pretty good luck.

But I can remember a few scary times.

Once I was traveling with one of my college dorm mates and we were picked up by a young couple.

The guy driving kept looking back at us in the back seat and chattering away while steering the car with one hand as he drove at what were very high speeds for the time and the two-lane roads.

When he stopped for gas, we bailed out, thanked him for the ride and congratulated ourselves on still being alive.

Another time I was dropped off on a country road far off my normal route and everyone else's, judging by the lack of traffic.

Then it started to rain.

Then it started to pour.

I had no protection and was soon soaking wet.

Finally a car stopped and a kindly couple of older women told me to get in.

I protested (a little), telling them I was very wet but they told me to never mind that.

I think they were school teachers and they got me back to my normal route and drier weather.

Then there was the man who picked me up on another trip and chatted amiably.

I was feeling good about this ride until he said he was headed for Albuquerque and invited me to come along.

We were in North Dakota at the time so I got a creepy feeling and nervously declined the opportunity to visit the Southwest.

It was a few decades before the gay era, when homosexuality was still mostly in the closet but I knew enough to be glad the man was a gentleman who let me out of his car near my college.

Times have changed since those carefree days of the 50's.

Monday, January 2, 2017


The savannah looks more like a moor this morning.

A gentle fog has blanketed the lowlands and as I watch it moves higher into our neighborhood.

As I noted earlier, it follows a rainy, drizzly, wet weekend.

The other evening, SWMBO was experimenting with her new light-up drink coaster and placed her crystal ball on it.

No, she's not a gypsy fortune teller though she might be able to make a fair living at it with this and her vivid imagination.

The BRD said it best when I emailed her the photo above.

"A galaxy you could hold in your hands."

Speaking of which, we watched the movie "Miles Ahead" from Netflix last night.

It's the story of a period in the life of the trumpeter Miles Davis during which he was not performing.

The film is the product of the actor Don Cheadle, who wrote, directed, produced and starred as the troubled and drug addicted Davis.

Cheadle gives a sterling performance though the movie is not for the faint of heart who might be troubled by language, drug abuse and violence or badly affected by Davis' sometimes discordant music.

I enjoyed it, SWMBO not so much.

Aha!  The fog has lifted.

Sunday, January 1, 2017


Another new year has begun.

I watched the magic moment occur in New York City at 10 o'clock my time last night.

Less than half an hour later I was in the Arms of Morpheus.

About four hours later I was awake again and the rest of the hours until shortly after 6 this morning were a scattershot of dozing and tossing and turning.

When I finally rose I discovered that I had forgotten to take my night pills last night, which includes a tablet to help me sleep.

Hence my wakefulness.

Old age and a bad memory.

At least I'll sleep well tonight.

Our New Year's Eve dinner was lobster tails and green pea risotto, along with about half a bottle of Prosecco.

A good feast and, no, I took no pictures.

I did take the new banner photo on this blog, though, yesterday afternoon, as I was taking a break from football on television.

Stepping outside on a rainy weekend, I noticed a patch of sunlight on the side of Mingus Mountain and grabbed the camera for a quick shot.

It's a little fuzzy as I realized later I had the camera in macro mode.

But I think that kind of adds to the mood of the picture.

I met my neighbor Rick, out walking Reggie.

He said he and Lori wouldn't be celebrating the big night as she has been not feeling well lately.

Apparently there is a nasty type of influenza going around.

Another neighbor had told me she had the "stuff" too and it had lasted about ten days.

No way to spend the holidays.

And so life goes on here in the Central Highlands of Arizona on this January 1st.

No snow on the ground but as I said it's been a rainy weekend and it's dark and dripping out there now.


Saturday, December 31, 2016


A friend gifted Judy with this Crown Royal 3-D glass and a coaster that lights up when a full glass of the magic elixir is placed on it.

She also provided a bottle of Judy's favorite quaff to fill the glass.

Knowing my preference for vodka, she also gave me a bottle of Stoli and a couple of "rocks" glasses.

Now that's a good way to say goodbye to 2016 and hello to 2017.

I hope your New Year will be a happy one.

As my friend Steve in Germany might say . . "Most of the Time".

Friday, December 30, 2016


Gentle Readers, congratulations!

You have survived the Christmas holidays.

Now brace yourself for an even bigger test.

New Year's Eve!

There's only one thing to avoid on this Celebration of Celebrations.

Too much "fun" on the Eve so that you end up like this on New Year's Day.

So there you have it.

Don't say I didn't warn you.

But above all, have an absolutely wonderful, sparkling weekend, filled with joy that this dreadful year is over and false hopes for a hopeful new beginning.

And no matter how hard it is . . . keep on laughing!

Here, kitty-kitty . . .


Thursday, December 29, 2016


Back in 1961 I was working at a radio station in Minot, North Dakota.

I was, I am proud to say, a rock and roll disc jockey.

I was on the air every night as . . . wait for it . . . Bruce on the Loose.

Curiously, that monicker has stuck with me through the years.

Only a few years ago I was at a reunion picnic and someone I hadn't seen since high school said, behind me, "It's Bruce on the Loose!"

I don't have any pictures of me at the microphone, spinning my stacks of platters.

(Yes, you younger readers, the music was on 45 and 33 rpm vinyl discs in those days.)

But I do have this photo from that era.

I was 21 years old, living at a YMCA and here was putting all the seductive charm I could fathom on the young secretary in the office.

It didn't work.

Somehow, some way, she was able to resist my reptilian ways.

Bruce on the Loose, indeed!